Top 7 online donation tools to raise more money

One of the most challenging parts of running a successful nonprofit is fundraising. People start charity organizations to do good in the world, but accomplishing that mission is contingent upon donations. 

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted traditional forms of fundraising, putting an indefinite pause on in-person events and charity galas — which have often been the primary source of revenue for many organizations. 

But digital donation tools have had a positive impact on fundraising efforts, even before the pandemic. In fact, overall online charity revenue increased by 32 percent in 2020, according to the 2021 M+R Benchmarks Study

Digital donation tools allow donors to make contributions easily, while enabling nonprofits to streamline their operations and reach more potential donors. Plus, these platforms make it easier to set up recurring payments, letting donors automate their giving — which increases nonprofits’ project revenues and budgets. 

Charitable organizations saw an increase in monthly gifts of 25 percent in 2020. What’s more, monthly donations represented 19 percent of all online charity revenue. 

As online fundraising grows increasingly valuable for nonprofit organizations, using the right online donation tools is more important than ever. Here are the seven best digital donation tools to help your organization thrive.

Donately

Donately aims to streamline the online giving process for nonprofits, serving as both a fundraising tool and a donor management platform. Its offerings include contribution forms that organizations can customize and embed on websites, the ability to text donors about campaigns, and tools for peer-to-peer fundraising. 

Best of all, Donately is easy to integrate with payment processors, analytics software, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Its donation pages are also designed to be mobile responsive. According to the M+R 2021 Benchmarks report, nonprofits’ mobile audiences grew by 26 percent in 2020 — so this feature is a great bonus. 

Donately
Donately

DonorSearch

Effectively conveying your organization’s message can be a challenge — but so is finding and identifying donors who will be most receptive to your fundraising requests. DonorSearch is a comprehensive, all-in-one charitable giving database and donor research tool. 

The database has over 150 million records, and that number increases by up to 500,000 on a weekly basis. All of this information helps nonprofits determine who their best donors would be, even profiling them as annual givers or one-time major donors. 

Features include built-in wealth screening, which allows users to determine appropriate donation requests; philanthropic indicators, which provide a record of all past charitable contributions; and deep analytics and reporting to help effectively manage donor relationships. 

DonorSearch
DonorSearch

Classy

Classy is a digital donation tool that occupies a unique place on this list. Over 6,000 nonprofit organizations trust this platform because the founders were once fundraisers themselves. 

Established as a social enterprise and a Certified B Corporation, Classy boasts a proprietary set of donation tools called the Classy Fundraising Suite, which allows users to build and scale any type of campaign and donor page they need. 

The tool gives users the ability to build mobile forms, recurring donation requests, crowdfunding sites, and more. The platform is designed to be simple and flexible, and organizations can customize it to fit their needs — regardless of their size, cause, or revenue goals.  

Classy
Classy

CharityEngine

Unlike other donation tools, CharityEngine is designed to be a complete solution for nonprofits. The platform comes equipped with all the resources needed to fundraise, and it functions as a CRM system to track donors and their gifts. 

In fact, CharityEngine can glean so much data and insight from transactions that users can see how long individual site visitors spend on a page before submitting their donation. These in-depth analytics empower savvy nonprofit managers to refine their fundraising assets to achieve the highest conversions possible. 

Plus, within the CharityEngine platform itself, organizations can craft better fundraising campaigns and send them to existing and prospective donors through email, social media, and text. 

CharityEngine
CharityEngine

Double the Donation

Many donors don’t know this, but most major corporations (and even smaller companies) have gift-matching programs for specific charities. As the name suggests, Double the Donation helps small and medium-sized nonprofits make the matching gift request process easy for their donors. 

A widget allows donors to find out if their employers will match their donations, and if so, donors can see how much money they’ll match. The donation tools allow organizations to create customized guidelines, instructions, and matching gift forms that a donor can use to easily submit match requests. 

Every aspect of the Double the Donation platform is there to help nonprofits effectively recruit their donors as additional fundraisers. 

Double the Donation
Double the Donation

Donorbox

As recurring donations become more popular, Donorbox helps organizations set up and manage recurring gifts. 

The tool is straightforward and customizable, and it easily integrates with other systems. Donorbox connects seamlessly with platforms like Salesforce for CRM, Mailchimp for email marketing, and even other donation tools on this list, such as Double the Donation. 

Donorbox
Donorbox

Jotform

Jotform’s robust form template options allow nonprofit organizations to manage every aspect of their fundraising initiatives and donor relationships — for free! 

Users can create customizable donation signup sheets and track donations in customized tables. Plus, users can integrate all of the information with platforms like Google Sheets and Airtable to automatically collect and organize data about every transaction.

Online donation tools are the future of charity

With many traditional forms of in-person fundraising still on pause, digital donations are a key way for nonprofits to effectively fundraise in 2021 and beyond. And even after life returns to normal, the sheer convenience of digital giving may forever alter donor behavior. Incorporating digital giving into your fundraising initiatives will yield results for years to come — and these donation tools make the transition seamless.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

This article is originally published on Nov 10, 2021, and updated on Jan 31, 2022.

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